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Getting paid: Fees and Exchange rates - Direct to Local Bank vs Payoneer vs Paypal - Europe



I'd like to hear from fellow European freelancers what your experience is with Payoneer or Paypal as opposed to Direct to Local Bank. Which option is the cheapest for withdrawing funds, considering fees and exchange rates?


I've been using the Direct to Local bank option because it's recommended for my location in Finland, but it's starting to really bum me out that the "current exchange rate" through Upwork is always 2% under the actual market rate. So on top of Upwork fees and the withdrawal fee, you always lose an additional 2% in the withdrawal.


I'm wondering whether Payoneer or PayPal would give better exchange rates and turn out to be better options for withdrawing funds?


I'd love to hear others' experiences before trying either one out for myself! Thanks! 🙂

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Hi Anna,


Neither PayPal nor Payoneer is ideal in terms of fees or exchange rates - the best option is Wise (formerly TransferWise). 

Hi Gergana,


Thanks for your answer! I did some digging around and you're right, PayPal and Payoneer are worse options, they both end up taking 3% in transaction fees.


However, wire transfer has a fee of $30! And it can take up to 7 seven for the transaction to go through, during which the exchange rate can go either direction, and there's no guarantee of how good an exchange rate my bank would give me. I did some calculations, and when you withdraw more than $1500 at a time, there is a chance to receive more in euros than with the Direct to Local Bank option, but that's given that the exchange rate stays the same (or goes up) and the bank gives the market rate (which I doubt). I'm not sure it's worth the risk?


I think I'll be sticking to Direct to Local Bank and just accept the 2% loss on every transaction... 😢

I'm not sure why you are talking about direct-to-bank transfer and wire transfer when I suggested you create a Wise account and transfer your Upwork earnings there (no fee applies), and then from Wise to your local bank account, precisely to avoid all of those fees and unfavorable exchange rate fluctuations. Wise's exchange rates are pretty close to the actual exchange rates. 

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